Tilford - Yagden Hill – Kettlebury Hill – Stony Jump – Crosswater – Little Frensham Pond - Tilford

You need to log in as a member of Walkingworld to access the details for this walk and have an active subscription. Please join, or log in above if you are already a member.

Both Hankley and Frensham Commons are nature reserves and sites of Special Scientific Interest with woodland and lowland heath habitats. Species include nightjars, Dartford Warblers, woodlark, crossbills, sand lizard and smooth snake.

Hankley Common is a popular film location. 1917, The Kings Man, The Man from UNCLE, Macbeth, the James Bond films The World is not Enough, Die Another Day and Skyfall all feature scenes shot at Hankley Common as well as episodes of Dr Who and Blackadder.

Hankley Common belongs to the Ministry of Defence and occasionally parts are closed to public access owing to military exercises. Visitors are warned not to touch any military items they may find e.g. spent bullets etc.

During World War II Canadian troops were stationed here and in 1943 the Atlantic or Canadian Wall was constructed using concrete reinforced with steel. It was meant to replicate the sea defences on the French coast and was used by the Canadian troops to develop and practice techniques to breach those defences in preparation for the D-day landings. Over the years the wall has been colonised by alkali loving vegetation owing to the lime content in the concrete, creating an unusual alkaline island in the middle of the otherwise acidic soils of the heathland.

The route starts on Hankley Common by climbing Yagden Hill. Following a steep descent it continues below the crest of the ridge, passes the Atlantic Wall and then proceeds along another ridge up Kettlebury Hill. Rather deceptively Kettlebury Hill is the highest point on Hankley Common at 99m. The actual summit is in the trees on the right hand side of the ridge but you are likely to pass it without noticing so small is its elevation from the ridge. Stony Jump is one of three small hills called The Devils Jumps formed by outcrops of ironstone.

After visiting the summit and then crossing an area of heathland (The Flashes) our route passes on to Frensham Common. Another splendid ridge walk ensues. This ridge is called Kings Ridge on account of the Bronze Age barrows you will pass- it is surmised they are kings' burial mounds.

When I first moved to this area from the north of England, I was astounded by the size of Frensham Ponds. These southerners – I said – call little pimples hills and expanses of water like these ponds? A local explained to me that they were called ponds because they were manmade (Duh? Kielder Pond anyone?). They are indeed manmade (personmade?) – they were made as fishponds in the Middle Ages to provide fish for the Bishop of Winchester's estate. They were drained in World War II lest German bombers used them as navigational aids.

The area is extremely busy on summer weekends and bank holidays as the beaches are used as substitutes for the seaside though this applies more to the Great Pond than the Little Pond. You have been warned!

The walk returns to Tilford along the south branch of the River Wey.

England - South England - Surrey - Common or Park


Ancient Monument, Birds, Cafe, Food Shop, Great Views, Lake/Loch, Pub, River, Toilets, Woodland
8/30/2023 - Patricia Daw

28th August 2023. We parked in the main village car park in Tilford as it's less secluded there. Great walk. Well directed with some interesting historical points. Strava clocked it as 8.69miles.

3/26/2023 - Ann Ellis

This was a really good walk with lots of variety, heathland, ponds, lovely views and very open, we think the distance was more like 8.5/9 miles. The directions are first class making it a very enjoyable day out.

Walkingworld members near this walk

Distance away
Holidays and activities
Distance away